Agriculture reform: E-market portal to be launched

Union Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh briefed the media about the launch of the National Agriculture Market (NAM) e-market platform by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. He, however, made it clear that any state wishing to be part of NAM has to reform its Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act. State APMC Acts are restrictive.

The Union government had approved the NAM Scheme on July 1, 2015, with the objective to usher in the much-needed agri-marketing reforms so that farmers could get the best prices. The scheme, sanctioned with a budget of Rs 200 crore, aims to integrate 585 regulated markets with the common e-market platform by March 2018.

Since agri-market reforms are integral to NAM, the prerequisite reforms of state APMC Act pertain to a single license for trading to be valid across the state, a single-point levy of market fee, and provision for electronic auction as mode for price discovery, said an official release.

Singh said that many states and Union Territories have expressed their willingness to join NAM, though detailed proposals were received from 12 states for the integration of 365 mandis. Of these, 21 mandis from eight states (Gujarat, Telangana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh) have been selected for the pilot launch of the NAM e-market platform.

The NAM portal will be formally launched on Thursday evening by the Prime Minister from Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, on the 125th birth anniversary of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar. It will be an electronic launch with the push of a button by the Prime Minister.

The dignitaries invited for the occasion are Minister of Communications & IT Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Mohanbhai K. Kundariya, and Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Sanjeev Kumar Balyan. Other guests include state representatives and farmer and industry leaders.